Man Charged in Starvation Death of Chained Dog in Halifax County

Emaciated Pit Bull's Body Found, Still Chained, Inside Plastic Barrel; Gross Negligence Highlights Need for Tethering Ban

For Immediate Release:
April 12, 2016

David Perle 202-483-7382

Roanoke Rapids, N.C. – On Sunday, March 6, two PETA volunteers were delivering free straw to dogs in the Halifax County area when they discovered the still-chained body of young pit bull inside a plastic barrel. A postmortem report confirmed that the neglected black dog, whose name was Night Train, had been forgotten on the end of his chain. He had been unable to forage for himself and had slowly starved to death, suffering from total organ failure.

According to the veterinarian’s findings, the lack of fat reserves in Night Train’s body and the presence of foreign material in his stomach—which contained only pieces of a glove, plastic, and a red fabric material—indicate that he suffered from chronic starvation for an extended period of time. The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office has charged Night Train’s owner—Malcolm O. Jones of Garysburg—with cruelty to animals.

“Night Train died slowly, unable to leave that spot or draw attention to his own suffering, which was entirely preventable. This tragedy serves as a reminder that other dogs in Halifax County are still chained up and forgotten,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges Halifax County to prevent other dogs from suffering in this way by following the lead of Roanoke Rapids, Weldon, and Enfield and enacting a ban on the continuous tethering of dogs.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that dogs who are chained outdoors spend their entire lives eating, sleeping, and eliminating in the same few square feet of space. Chaining dogs deprives these pack animals of the social interaction that they need, which can make them aggressive—and nearly three times as likely to attack.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind